Dyepkazah Shibayan, Abuja
A House of Representatives ad hoc committee mandated to investigate all oil prospecting licences (OPLs) and Oil Mining Leases (OMLs) granted by the Federal Government, Thursday, said that oil companies have refused to pay compulsory fees amounting to $2bn.
Chairman of the ad hoc committee, Gideon Gwani, while addressing a press conference in Abuja said the oil companies are owning Nigeria such huge sum and have refused to pay up thus compounding FG’s financial woes.
Gwani while describing the situation as alarming and worrisome said “this is a dangerous trend that cannot be allowed to continue”.
“It is estimated that the oil companies by their actions have either evade or avoided the payment of these compulsory fees which is presumed to have denied the Federal Government the sum of about two billion dollars.
“At a time when the government is talking of obtaining loans for infrastructural development, such as roads, railways, powers plants, petroleum refineries, among others and where oil blocs have been allocated to some companies to use the proceeds accruing from loyalties, signature bonuses etc., to fund these important projects, yet, several years after, these facilities are still in comatose with little or no new projects to show as approved, “he said.
The Chairman expressed misgivings that the Minister of Petroleum (State), Mr. Ibe Kachikwu and the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, had not responded to the inquiries from the committees.
He added that at the time of the press conference only the Director of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) had responded to the committee’s inquiry.
He further emphasized the committee’s resolve not to be intimidated to abandon its work adding it will go ahead with its investigation of the matter.